Oh what a tangled web of local rock we weave. Saturday night at The Basement, band-hopper extraordinaire and indie MVP Keith Lowen resurrects the pop stylings of Hail to the Keith. Question: if you play in a ton of bands and then start a band you front, is that still a side project? Only a bass player knows.
This week we take a look at old pop and new pop, and something borrowed and blue.
Wandering Minstrel: Henry Gross parlays his past into a one-man play.
The Revisionists: Ode Hazelwood gracefully revive 1920's blues. (Playing Monday, 2nd at The 5 Spot.)
Good Genes: Rooney's star trappings don't obscure their classic pop style. (Playing Friday, 29th at Exit/In with Autovaughn and The Rewinds.)
The Spin: Neil Hamburger, Dinosaur Jr. and more.
Our pick of the week: Dead Milkman Joe Jack Talcum w/Tigers Con Queso, Imagine Asians and Ukebox. (Playing tonight at The End. 9 p.m.; $5.)
There is a fairly large pool of Nashville bands with whom I am familiar in name only. I see their names often, but, for whatever reason, I just haven't heard them yet. Sometimes it's because the name is really bad. Sure, there are tons of great bands with awful names—remember Archers of Loaf? At the same time, it's just hard to get excited about a band called Radical Face. With this in mind, I present to you my list of the worst band names associated with Nashville.
Disclaimer: I have a relatively long history of playing in questionably named bands. That fact alone either discredits my list entirely or qualifies me as a sort of bad band name expert. Hard to say.
Hot shit this weekend:
Velcro Stars are playing their first local show in months this Friday at Sweetwater in Murfreesboro opening up for Athens-based Dark Meat, whose psychedelic jams fall somewhere between Funhouse-era Stooges and Hawkwind's spaced out free-for-alls.
There's a whole bunch of other stuff going on Saturday (and Friday night too, for that matter), but I'm going to go get my guts rumbled by Zoroaster at the Springwater. Opening up will be new local band Plague of Ages, featuring members of Dave Cloud and the Gospel of Power, Birdfeeder, Bad Friend and Big Nurse. As far as I know, they don't have a MySpace page or anything of the sort, but they sound like a no wave band playing stoner metal songs.
Peter Bjorn and John, August 8th at City Hall. Tickets go on sale June 30. $16 advance; $18 day of show.
Also just announced: Spoon at the Cannery, Oct. 26.
Thanks, Great Big Shows.
Looks like East Nashville hang The 5 Spot is starting to tame the beast. Not only are they about to get a liquor license "any day now," but owners Todd Sherwood and Travis Collinsworth are trimming their booking to focus on more and more local acts, such as the June 30 lineup featuring Joe Buck, Creech Holler and Those Darlins. In addition to swankin' the place up with new furniture and a pool table, Sherwood says he's also multitracking every band's live show.
Only wondering because Cage the Elephant were playing. This is a Bowling Green, Ky., band who sparked a little controversy on our blog recently.
Us: Hey, we keep hearing about this band called Cage the Elephant, but they're not from here so what's the big deal?
You: sounds like a case of CAGE RAGE!!!!!
However, it has recently been brought to my attention by Coolfer, who attended a recent label showcase for the band at the Mercury Lounge in New York (with none other than Jason Flom in attendance), that the band is possibly relocating to Nashville (and maybe signed with Interscope? Can't confirm it). He also said: "The band rocked. Very tight, great show, way more energetic than all 20 of us deserved." I checked out their MySpace, which indicates a pretty high-octane sleaze-rock bent with a little funk-inflected grooving.
So did they bring it?
Just three days after Animal Collective roll into town, The Mercy Lounge will play host to another high profile experimental, quasi-improv bill featuring breakthrough band and Pitchfork darlings Deerhunter. Say what you will about Pitchfork; they get some interesting interviews from time to time. Also on the bill will be No Age, who take the art-damaged, lo-fi approach of the Swell Maps and dress it up with sound collages reminiscent of Eno's ambient output, occasionally stumbling into spaced-out krautrock territory. What I'm saying is they friggin' rule.
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